OLD Media Moves

Who were Bloomberg's potential suitors?

October 19, 2006

A number of media covered the Wednesday announcement that Bloomberg L.P. was not for sale. Here are some interesting tidbits that went beyond Mike Bloomberg’s statement.

Mike Bloomberg1. Keith Kelly at the New York Post wrote, “Rumors have been swirling around the Bloomberg newsroom for months that the Carlyle Group or another private-equity behemoth was looking to buy the company.

“Carlyle recently hired Norman Pearlstine, a veteran of Time Inc. and The Wall Street Journal, and former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt, who is a senior adviser to Carlyle and also sits on the board of Bloomberg L.P.

“Carlyle founder David Rubenstein as well as other private-equity titans including billionaire Thomas H. Lee have met with Bloomberg CEO [Peter] Grauer in the past in an attempt to feel out potential buyout opportunities, sources said.”

2. Thomas Lueck and Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times wrote, “Several private equity firms have informally told Wall Street bankers of their interest in buying Bloomberg L.P. in recent months, including the Blackstone Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company, people close to the discussions said yesterday. McGraw-Hill and Thomson were also said to be prospective suitors.

“For those companies, Bloomberg would be a glittering prize, given its status in financial and media circles. Its data terminals can be found on desks up and down Wall Street and in financial centers around the world. It operates a global news service and has cable and radio stations. Because Bloomberg is privately held, it is unclear how profitable the company is. But Forbes magazine estimated that the company had $4.1 billion in revenue last year.”

3. Megan Davies of Reuters wrote that Thomson Corp. was considered a potential buyer of Bloomberg.

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